You were staring into my eyes and I into yours. I could read everything from that look you were giving me. No words needed to be exchanged. Your eyes glinted with fierce passion and my eyes echoed yours. We were locked in this tiny fragile bubble. I knew what you were going to say. My heart beat accelerated, palms turned sweaty and the corner of my lips twitched with joy and anxiety.
Finally, you went on your knee and said, “Miss Ayesha Khan, you’re the only girl I ever loved. I knew you were the one for me when you stumbled into the wrong class (lucky it was mine) and looked anxiously around with your golden brown eyes on the first day of college. Today is the last. It took me four years to tell you this, though we have been friends all this while. Today, I Arjun Roy, ask you, my dear, whether you will be mine forever?”
My heart was jumping with joy. Just then, my mind took over. It made me look closer, made me look at the red tinge on his forehead and the fact that his name was Arjun. It told me to look at the invisible lines running between me and him which my heart failed to notice. The lines first seemed as fragile as a web, but as the centuries wore on, they were strengthened by the hate, the society and the culture.
He was a Hindu and I a Muslim. The chasm between us was too deep to cross. I gave him a wry smile knowing I didn’t have the strength to break his heart. I turned away, brushed away the silent tears running down my face and thought to myself, if not in this lifetime I’ll love you on the other side.
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